ObamaCare; How did this nightmare begin

Exactly nine years after President Obama launched his White House bid, we’ve got a fresh look at the bitter fight behind his signature domestic achievement:

Less than 48 hours before the final vote on the Affordable Care Act, President Obama was irritated. Jason Altmire, a centrist Democratic congressman representing the Pittsburgh area, had just announced he would vote against ObamaCare. The White House needed every vote it could get, with the bill in serious jeopardy of dying on the House floor.

Altmire’s phone rang at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, March 19, 2010. It was the president.

“What’s the matter?” Obama asked. “We didn’t give you enough attention?”

The administration had given Altmire plenty of attention in the first few months of 2010: trips to the White House, private conversations with Obama and Vice President Biden, as well as many long discussions with then-White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

Altmire voted no on the House ObamaCare legislation in 2009 and had been undecided on the final measure.

The tense moment showed how confident Obama was that the Affordable Care Act would pass. At that time, though, the legislation was teetering. And Obama knew he still needed more votes.

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